Research shows that nearly everyone in the world has some level of malocclusion. In some cases, it is so mild that it’s not noticeable. However, sometimes, it can lead to a variety of oral and overall health issues. In this case, it requires some attention.
For many years, the primary treatment option was traditional braces. While effective, many people avoided this treatment because it was thought to be uncomfortable and unsightly. Most patients would rather deal with their malocclusion than deal with traditional braces.
In the 1990s, an orthodontic patient started thinking that there had to be a better way to treat malocclusions. Research began and, in 1998, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced to the market.
Invisalign is a series of transparent aligners designed to fit snugly against the teeth, placing even pressure on the entire arch. This pressure gradually shifts teeth into their appropriate position within the jaw.
In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about Invisalign at Rainier Ave Dental in Seattle, including how long treatment takes and what impacts your treatment timeline.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Most patients at Rainier Ave Dental with mild to moderate malocclusion see full resolution within 12 to 18 months. However, patients with more severe malocclusion may require up to 24 months to resolve their condition, as well as additional treatments including extractions and Invisalign attachments. Patients with very mild malocclusions often resolve their condition within 6 months.
Regardless of the severity, most of our patients do start noticing a change within the first 2 weeks of treatment.
Factors Impacting Treatment Time
There are several factors that can impact treatment time with Invisalign, including:
Type/Severity of Malocclusion
Invisalign is designed to treat a variety of malocclusions which can range from very mild to severe, including:
- Open bite
The type and severity of your malocclusion play a major role in your treatment time. The more complex and severe the condition, the longer treatment will take.
Invisalign is an appropriate treatment for all ages. However, it’s important to note that since children and teens are still developing, their treatment is typically quicker. Adults teeth, on the other hand, are often stubborn and take more time to move.
Invisalign aligners are removable. While this does improve the convenience of this treatment, it also impacts its effectiveness. Aligners should be worn every day for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. If they are not worn as directed, treatment will take longer.
Number of Aligners
The type and severity of your malocclusion will determine how many aligners you will need. Treatment plans vary from one patient to another, but most of the time aligners should be changed every 1 to 3 weeks. Therefore, the more aligners you need, the longer your treatment time will be.
Most patients love Invisalign because of the benefits that it comes with. However, some patients find that it’s too much to deal with since you must remove them to eat and brush/floss their teeth. In this case, there are a couple of alternatives:
Treatment with traditional braces requires the dentist to adhere brackets to your teeth with dental cement. Then, an archwire is run through them. As the teeth begin to shift, the archwire is tightened to keep pressure on them and continue the shift. Most of the time, treatment takes 12 to 24 months. Some more severe cases may take up to 36 months. The average cost of traditional braces ranges from $1,000 to $8,500. Most of the time, dental insurance will cover a portion of treatment.
Six Month Smiles
Six Month Smiles is a fairly new option designed to treat mild to moderate malocclusion in patients over the age of 16. There are two options: clear braces or clear aligners. in some cases, the patient will start with the braces and then switch to the aligners to complete treatment. The cost depends on the provider and your treatment plan. Experts state this alternative resolves malocclusion within 6 months.
Schedule Your Consultation at Rainier Ave Dental Today
If you want to learn more about Invisalign and other options for treating your mild to moderate malocclusion, schedule your consultation today. The team at rainier Ave Dental has the experience and expertise to work with you to ensure that you have a picture-perfect smile.
Treatment with Invisalign takes an average of 12 to 18 months, depending on several factors including the type and severity of your malocclusion, your age and compliance with wearing the aligners, and the number of aligners needed to resolve your condition.
If you’re not sure that Invisalign is the best option for you, there are a couple of alternatives: traditional braces and Six Month Smiles.
The team at Rainier Ave Dental is committed to ensuring that you are comfortable and confident in your treatment. Therefore, we are happy to discuss any questions or concerns that you might have along the way. Below, we’ve provided the answers to some of the questions that many of our patients have asked about Invisalign:
What conditions can Invisalign treat?
Invisalign is effective in the treatment of a variety of mild to moderate malocclusions, including:
- Open bite
Invisalign may also be effective in the treatment of more severe malocclusions with the help of Invisalign attachments.
How often do I need to wear my aligners?
One of the biggest factors in the effectiveness of Invisalign is patient compliance. If you do not wear them, they will not work. Aligners should be worn every day for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. This means that you have 2 to 4 hours to eat and take care of oral hygiene needs.
How often do I need to visit the dentist while using Invisalign?
While you do not have to visit the dentist as often with Invisalign as you do with traditional braces, you will need to come in from time to time. This will help us monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments. The frequency of your visits will be outlined in your treatment plan.
Are there any side effects associated with Invisalign treatment?
Yes, there are a few side effects associated with Invisalign treatment, including:
- Minor discomfort as teeth shift
- Dry mouth
- Swollen/tender gums
- Weight loss
- Speech difficulties when first starting treatment
- Bad breath
Can I eat and drink while wearing my aligners?
You can drink water while wearing your aligners. However, it’s important that you remove them when eating or drinking other beverages. This will help you avoid damaging or staining them.